Even though the New York Yankees offered fans who purchased tickets to Tuesday night's really rain-delayed game vs. the Baltimore Orioles a free ticket to another game in 2012, Major League Baseball made a mistake in playing that game at all Tuesday night.
The reason? The game at Yankees stadium was really rain delayed -- it didn't start until 11:08 p.m. EDT.
You read correctly: the New York AL, which starts its non-network TV night games at 7 p.m. EDT, didn't start until more than four hours later, due to rain from Tropical Storm Lee.
Umpire crew chief Gary Darling confirmed that it was MLB's call regarding when to finally start the game, which the Yankees won 5-3, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
Yankee-Oriole Game Ended at 2:15 a.m. EDT.
The time of day (or early morning) when the game ended? 2:15 a.m. EDT.
The paid attendance for the game: 44,573. The number fans in the stands when the game started at a time closer to The David Letterman Show than a normal night game: about 2,500. Only about 500 fans stayed for the entire game, The Associated Press said.
Rain throughout the night prevented an earlier start, and schedule conflicts and lack of mutual days off prevented Baltimore and New York from making the game up before the end of the regular season.
But the above did not prevent the MLB from allowing the clubs to play the make-up game on Thursday, Sept. 29 -- the day after the 2012 regular season ends -- but MLB likes to reserve that day for one-game tie-breakers for a division winner or wild-card playoff spot -- and not for clubs to just play game number 162 of the regular season.
And of course the Yankees weren't about to simply not play the game and lose the revenue from tickets sold, concession sales, parking etc. A day-night doubleheader the next day also wasn't practical, as both teams will be traveling after Wednesday's regularly-scheduled afternoon game. And the Yankees didn't want to play a single-admission doubleheader.
Political/Public Policy: The view from here argues that the Yankees' free ticket offer isn't enough. Major League Baseball should offer fans who purchased tickets to Tuesday night's game another free ticket to a game in 2012, and the chance to enter a lottery to win an additional ticket to the 2012 All-Star Game.
Further, starting a baseball game at 11:08 p.m. New York time is absurd and Congress should address the issue. Regardless of play-off schedule or television considerations, a way must be found to compel MLB and baseball teams to not start games at an unreasonable hour. And 11:08 p.m. is certainly an unreasonable start.